Waberer’s, the Hungarian road transportation giant, published an investor release today in which they confirm that its main shareholder, Mid Europa Partners is considering selling its stake.
Mid Europa has confirmed to Waberer’s that it has appointed Rothchild to help it consider strategic options for its investment in Waberer’s, including the sale of its stake in the Company. There can be no certainty that Mid Europa will sell any or all of its existing shareholding” – can be read in Waberer’s investor release.
The investor release is a response to some media information that was published in the MTI, the state-owned Hungarian news agency, Budapest Business Journal reports. The above-mentioned post cannot be found in the news agency’s archive now.
Mid Europa owns more than 70% of Waberer’s shares
Mid Europa Partners is an independent private equity player in Central and Eastern Europe focused on Central and Eastern Europe with approximately €2.2 billion of assets under management. In 2011, the investment fund bought a 49.05% stake in Waberer’s Holding Zrt, then in 2016 it bought the shares of the former owner, György Waberer. This way, Mid Europa gets to own 97% of the company’s shares.
According to the latest information provided by Waberer’s website, C.E.E. Transport Holdco S.á.r.l (CEE Transport, owned by private equity company Mid Europa Partners) owns 71,99% of the company’s shares. The rest of the shareholders are not named – there are domestic institutional investors, foreign institutional investors, domestic retail investors and private individuals and also treasury shares among the owners.
Poor financial results
As we reported earlier, Waberer’s International financial results regarding the first quarter of 2020 were not telling a success story. The company’s net loss was 2.5 million euros during this period which wouldn’t sound very bad compared to the 4,4 million euros loss of last year’s same period. However, the company’s shares were then sold for half of last year’s maximum price – 752 Hungarian forints (approx 2, 15 euros).
The company’s revenue decreased by 5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 to 174 million euros. Compared to the first quarter of last year, revenue was 17% lower in the International Transportation Segment (ITS) as a result of the fleet reduction programme, partly offset by the impact of slightly higher prices. In the Regional Contract Logistics (RCL) segment, revenue grew by 33% in the first quarter as a result of a new large automotive in-house logistics operation that started in December 2019.
At the end of March, with the coronavirus crisis having a significant impact on the European logistics industry, Waberer’s introduced immediate measures. One of the most important reforms was the change of the CEO – Robert Ziegler left the company and Barna Erdélyi was appointed, former Chief Financial Officer, was appointed in his position. At the same time, the company suspended the operation of a significant number of trucks; re-negotiated wages and introduced unpaid leaves.